661. Pasta with Parsley Walnut Pesto

June 25, 2017mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Ideal Workplace lunch

Theme: Healthy Weekday Lunches

BM#77 Week 4 Day 2

During my visits to Bangalore, I’ve prepared healthy and filling salads for my daughter to carry to work. She doesn’t like me adding fruit to the salad. The salads have to be filling and yet not too heavy. Pasta salad is one of the salads I prepare just not for her but also for myself. Hot days usually means salads for lunch. I pack the dressing separately so that the salad stays crispy and one can choose the amount of dressing they want to add to the salad.

This parsley and walnut pesto tasted so amazing. Since it was a simple salad, the star is the pesto sauce. Initially I thought that the taste of parsley would be overpowering but believe me it was not… and I had to use the curly parsley instead of the flat one. Usually pestos call for a copious amount of olive oil. I decided to reduce the amount oil and used a bit of water instead. If you add water, the pesto stays good only for a few days in the fridge.

This salad is a great picnic salad too. Feel free to add whatever veggies you want. When I prepared this salad, I didn’t get any greens( would have loved to add some!).
So here’s the simple and quick healthy lunch salad.



Serves 2

For the salad:
2 cups boiled pasta (any of your choice)
10-12 cherry tomatoes (or 2 medium ones)
1 medium cucumber
½ bell pepper, any of your choice
8-10 olives 

For the Parsley Walnut Pesto:
10-12 walnuts, lightly roasted
1½ cups chopped fresh parsley
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
3- 4 tbsp water
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder

To prepare the pesto:

  1. Lightly roast the walnuts in a frying pan over low heat or in the oven. Let the walnuts cool down completely.
  2. Add walnuts, oil, water, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and cheese into a food processor .
  3. Process the mixture till it becomes a coarse paste.
  4. Remove the pesto from the processor and store in a jar till required.
Preparation of the salad:
  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes into half or if you’re using normal tomatoes, cut them into chunks.
  2. Cut the cucumber into chunks or slices. I used English cucumber so I left the skin.
  3. Cut the olives into halves or if they are small, leave them whole.
  4. Cut the bell pepper into chunks.
  5. Add the pasta and mix everything.
To serve:
  1. If you’ve prepared this salad for lunch box then put the salad in the box and pack the pesto separately.
  2. If you’re going to have this salad at home, then add the pesto and mix and serve.
  • Add greens and other vegetables and fruits of your choice to the salad.
  • The pesto will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you want it to last longer then add more oil and omit the water.
  • Use whole wheat pasta if its available in your local store.
You may want to check out other salad ideas:
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
sweet potato and pasta salad
tropical pasta salad

Sending this recipe to the following event:



  • Jyoti Babel

    June 26, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Lovely salad. Bookmarking it.. I am sure the pesto makes the salad taste great

  • vaishali sabnani

    June 28, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I am fond of pesto as well as salads ! Combining the two would definitely be a treat .

  • Pavani N

    June 28, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Healthy and delicious salad. LOVE that pesto dressing.

  • Archana Potdar

    June 28, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Lovely salad. I do not like parsley but maybe because the 2 times I used it I used it like coriander. Will try again. Bookmarking it.

  • Harini R

    June 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Interesting ingredients for the pesto.

  • Priya Suresh

    July 3, 2017 at 6:40 am

    My kids will go crazy if they see this delicious pasta salad, thats a super flavourful pesto.

  • Sharmila- The Happie Friends Potpourri corner

    July 6, 2017 at 10:04 am

    What more is needed for an ideal lunch.. Perfect!!

  • Chef Mireille

    July 12, 2017 at 4:36 am

    oh wow – what an awesome pesto!

  • Srividhya Gopalakrishnan

    July 16, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Parsely and walnut pesto sounds delicious. Definitely will give it a try. 🙂

  • Sapana Behl

    August 16, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Pasta salad with pesto sounds very flavorful.

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